‘social mirrors’, 2013  by agus suwage all images courtesy tyler rollins fine art

 

 

agus suwage: ‘cycle no.2’tyler rollins fine art, new yorkon now through to the 13th of april, 2013

 

tyler rollins fine art presents the latest work of indonesian artist agus suwage in a second solo exhibition in new york, on now through to april 13th, 2013. entitled ‘cycle no.2’, this body of work reflects on the subject of the cycle of life and death, an ongoing exploration by the artist. the pieces fuse religious elements – the virgin mary, muslim prayer garb, angels and demons – as well as the actual sounds of prayers. this is complemented by references to suwage’s own mixed japanese, chinese and indonesian background and his experience as a christian convert to islam, while also referencing java’s hindu, buddhist traditions.

 

in ‘social mirrors’, for example, a small white plinth holds a somewhat battered brass trumpet facing a small, metal sculpture showing the artist wearing traditional indonesian muslim prayer attire, with hands cupping his ears. a car audio system concealed in the plinth plays a trumpet-only rendition of the traditional azzan call to prayer, which is heard through a small speaker in the horn of the cornet. the sound level is low, which invites viewers to come close and be enveloped by the tune. the work is a reflection on the role of islam in contemporary society, in light of the current rise of fundamentalism in indonesia. more specifically, the sculpture was informed by the increasingly audible loudspeaker broadcasting of the call to prayer, which can regularly be heard in the artist’s studio in jogjakarta. the work can be interpreted in many ways, as it offers a mellow rendering of the call to prayer, while the ‘normal size’ trumpet seems to overwhelm the small-scale figure before it.

 

other artworks accompanying the exposition include ‘tembok toleransi’ – a self portrait from tin cans and audio systems and ‘malaikat yang menjaga hankamnas #3’ (the angel guard of hankamnas #3), both illustrating suwage’s ability to create rich, varied compositions with deep socio-political significance.

 

exploring life, death and religion by agus suwagea car audio system concealed in the plinth plays a trumpet-only rendition of the traditional azzan call to prayer

 

 

exploring life, death and religion by agus suwagebody of work reflects on the subject of the cycle of life and death, an ongoing exploration by the artist

 

 

exploring life, death and religion by agus suwage ‘tembok toleransi’, 2013tin cans and car audio systems138½ x 179¼ x 7½ in. (358 x 457 x 16 cm)

 

 

exploring life, death and religion by agus suwage‘malaikat yang menjaga hankamnas #3’ (the angel guard of hankamnas #3), 2012oil and gold leaf on zinc and aluminumshaped panel approximately: 46 x 34¼ x 1¼ in. (117 x 87 x 3.5 cm)